Saturday, September 6, 2014

2014 School Year is off and running!

We are so excited to be settled enough to begin school this week!  We are looking forward to completing our first cycle of Tapestry of Grace and continuing with all of our other curriculums that we've grown to love.  Here's some pictures of our first week!

We're kicking off a study of the early 1900's, beginning with learning about President Theodore Roosevelt.We reviewed our major continents and oceans in geography, and got off to a good start in Latin, science, and writing as well.  We're still finishing up last years math books! : )

My students for the year:

Luke and Kiryn are in the Upper Grammar level of Tapestry this year.  That means they have an increased amount of independent reading for history and worldview studies.  They're finding lots of fun places to get this reading done. 

Our school room needs some organizing still.  I need to get some bookshelves, and plan to go to IKEA in Kansas City after it opens on September 10th!  This is the table area where the big kids do their seat and independent work.  Behind is what will be a play area for the little ones to keep them occupied and in sight while we do our studies.  

Levi loves to spend time building trains.  He can play with his train set for a very long time, which is good for me! : ) 

We also love these fun mosaic tiles.  He wanted me to take these two pictures, because he built this mosaic man to match him in his Incredible suit. They do bear a striking resemblance. 

And of course, when one child has a picture taken, the other must as well. Here's ninja-kimono Meryn.

We wrapped the week up with a salt map, displaying forms of different geographical terms we reviewed this week. Salt maps are always fun!

We had a fun week, and are off to a good start.  We have a new schedule that's working really well for us.  We start at 8:30 (or 9!), with our Bible reading, catechism, and recitation.  We're going through our memory work weekly.  So Mondays we do Bible verses, Tuesday we do multiplication tables, Wednesday is States and capitols, Thursday is Presidents in order.  These are all the things we're memorizing this year (in addition to Latin words, grammar rules, and spelling rules)!  If I can find a good song of the books of the Bible, we'll memorize that as well. All this takes about 30 minutes each morning.  Then the two older kids get busy on their independent work.  They have a weekly rotation for this as well: 
M- Handwriting and Bible verse copy work
T- Geography definitions from TOG copy work
W- Geography Trivium tables from Classical Conversations, and poetry copy work
Th- Beginning Reasoning and Reading workbook
F- McGuffey reader lesson, and sometimes copy a quote or speech of the President we're studying

This keeps the big ones busy for about 30 minutes.  I spend this 30 minutes doing "Letter Time" with the little two.  We drill letter sounds, and play All About Reading Pre-Level games.  We read at least one story book and poem from Mother Goose together.  And sing a silly song or two.  Then I give them a little workbook I got in the Target dollar bins, and that keeps them happy and busy for a bit. 

While the little ones are busy scribbling in their workbooks, I teach writing to Kiryn while Luke does his math.  Then we switch. I teach writing to Luke, while Kiryn does her math.  

Then it's snack time. After snack, we take a break and play outside or ride bikes for awhile. 

Then after break until lunch, which is about one hour, we work on Latin, science, and spelling.  This is my most teacher-intensive hour, so if the little two are going to watch a video, this is the time.  I try to avoid it, but sometimes it becomes necessary.  

After lunch, I put Meryn down for a nap.  Luke and Kiryn take turns reading books to Levi while I'm putting Meryn down for her nap to keep everyone quiet.  While Meryn is sleeping, we spend a good chunk of time reading aloud, and then do all of our Tapestry studies and fine arts.  Luke and Kiryn take turns reading books to Levi while I'm putting Meryn down for her nap to keep everyone quiet.  

We usually finish around 3:30 or 4.  Wild Kratts comes on at 4, so the kids enjoy a little downtime, while I either do dinner prep, or enjoy my own little bit of downtime if dinner's already in the slow cooker. :)  

This is working as well as can be expected for us right now.  We are making it.  I feel like I don't sit down at all during the day, but Father is providing me with enough energy to make it through each day!  A lot of times I'm still very productive in the evenings, able to do laundry, light cleaning, or prepare something I need to do for school the next day.  I can't tell you what a change this is from last year.  Truly, Father has worked a miracle in my life. I was not able to cope or manage my life at all this time last year.  I'm so thankful for the healing He has accomplished in my life in the past few months.  It is enabling me to be much more present for my kids, to engage with them, and actually enjoy being around them.  We had gotten into some bad habits.  

When I was sick, I felt like I had mommy burnout.  I just wanted everyone to sit quietly and leave me alone.  Don't even talk to me about glue and scissors or playdoh.  I avoided everything because I felt so overwhelmed.  I spent waaaay too much time in front of a screen. It was like an addiction, I knew it was destructive, but just couldn't make myself stop.  My relationship with God was nonexistent, and my relationships with most of my kids were terrible.  Thank God for his restoration.  All of this is so different this year.  I feel like we're a team, not enemies like I felt last year.  Father has brought me out of that black hole and is restoring me to the mom he wants me to be.  I'm walking each day clinging to him, praying for continued and consistent healing and restoration, for it to stick.  :)  

Thank you all so much for all your prayers last year.  God has truly brought us both out of the valley, and is renewing our life.  We are so thankful. Everyday is a gift.  The backyard.  Great grandparents stopping by with Skittles.  Sleepovers at grandmas.  Family vacations.  The grocery store.  I find myself feeling so grateful very often.  God has been so good to us, and He has my heart!

1 comment:

  1. I know there are lots of songs out there, but in our opinion this is he best Bible book song around :):